Perhaps it’s age-related, but the years really do seem to pass more quickly. I think 2011 took the prize, by far. I distinctly remember watching Die Hard, the movie I watch every year while wrapping Christmas presents, only yesterday. Or what felt like yesterday. It seems impossible that 365 days came and went since the Nakatomi Plaza was last taken over by Hans Gruber, one of my favorite criminal masterminds. Yet they have, and now I am taking a a few blog posts to think back on the year.
In so many ways, 2011 was not what I expected. Yet it was not full of the unexpected. For example, this is Japan so we expect earthquakes. For the past two years, we have been partnering with a group of innovative Japanese leaders to prepare the Church for a harvest, which we believe will be initiated by a series of earthquakes. (Five to be exact, beginning around now and taking place over the next three years.) In March, this group sponsored disaster-preparedness training for local churches. We never expected a disaster on the scale we saw in northern Japan to take place just 6 days after the training, nor were we thinking about a tsunami. We didn’t even have time to follow-up on the initial training before some of us were up in Tohoku to help with the initial response.
The Christian life is full of the ‘unexpected expected’. Things happen that I know will happen, yet often truly don’t expect to happen. Persecution, illness, accidents, moral failings, these are things that I know will happen. Yet when they happen, I usually react like they were unexpected. It is upon this reaction to which my heart is drawn to ponder. How does my heart react to my circumstances and am I prepared to stay grounded in Jesus?
The Bible is pretty clear that there is ‘nothing new under the sun’ and that Jesus provides all we ever need. I desire to be more faithful to abide in Jesus, allowing him to hold me in his hands, that I might better ‘expect the unexpected’ Not that it is easy, but that in the midst of tough times all will be right with my soul.
This is today’s reflection on 2011, that is was a year of ‘unexpected expected.’ The sweet thing is, Jesus has been holding me in his hands all the time. That makes my heart happy. Like the picture N- drew for me. I want to sing and dance for joy.